Imagine it is the 1980s in Washington, D.C. Political tensions are high, ideals are being tested and the people are restless. Among those people are the youth. They want to be heard and, most importantly, respected, especially the youth labeled as “punk.” The ’80s was bringing in a new generation of punk youth and music that was being labeled as degenerate, thug-like and violent; labels that created a negative attitude and environment had a lot of people questioning their place in the punk world, at least until Revolution Summer and the punk band Rites of Spring said enough is enough.
Revolution Summer was the punk scene’s time to hold its own revolution against its stereotype. The summer was spent reflecting, discussing and learning. The scene was able to combine the youth’s passion for music and drive to be more than what the public labeled them in order to create action across the world’s punk scene. Rites of Spring was one of the bands that embodied the revolution. They are virtually unknown; the band had a short run with only one record and a handful of concerts, but their time as a band was strong and influential thanks to their part in Revolution Summer. Rites of Spring were one among many who stood up for the punk scene.
Why is Revolution Summer and an almost unknown punk band from the 1980s relevant to MSU in 2018? Well, because MSU is in the middle of its own revolution.
MSU’s student body has risen in response to the culture of silence that has been brought to light in the past year. Victims of sexual assault at the hands of Larry Nassar came forward with their statements and have held MSU responsible for not listening to victims and enabling sexual assault to take place in multiple instances. Now, the students are holding MSU responsible for changing its ways. Students are using their voices in support of the victims and change.
They called for the resignation of the former president, Lou Anna K. Simon, and the rest of the board, and continue to call for the resignation of the board. They have held sit-ins and spoke at board meetings that allowed their voices to be heard by preparing speeches and sitting on the table to make them heard. The Rock, which is usually used for the promotion of clubs, has been used to protest. It has been painted with the victims’ names, “No Confidence” in regard to the board and more to draw attention and remind campus to not forget and keep fighting for the change students so desperately want and MSU so desperately needs. Finally, student groups, such as Go Teal, have formed to call for action across campus.
Students are fighting for MSU so hard because there is so much worth fighting for. The university is defined by the students, not the administration, and it is the students’ time to stand up and fight for the MSU we know and love.
Rites of Spring, Revolution Summer and this past year at MSU are all based on the youth’s need to create a better environment than the one they were given. The push to revolt creates a domino effect that improves life for future generations. The youth brings new hope and light to otherwise dark times. MSU students are all part of a whole and with movements like #MeToo and March For Our Lives, light is being brought back into a seemingly dark world.